How to choose a retirement home for a relative to give you peace of mind with their care

Study after study has shown that we find it difficult to think about the future. From saving for old age to choosing a retirement home, these are decisions that are frequently left to the last minute. This is why it’s often relatives who are faced with the choice between retirement homes for their loved ones. If this is a responsibility that falls on your shoulders then it’s possible to make a well-informed decision that gives you peace of mind, as long as you understand the choices.

How to make a choice

When looking at options for retirement homes there are three main choices to consider for your relative: assisted living, a residential care home or a nursing home. Which type of option is the best for your situation will depend on key factors, such as how much budget you have, what kind of medical support your relative needs and what kind of life they want to live.

The different options available...

1. Choosing assisted living for your relative

 What is it? Essentially, assisted living is a combination of living independently in retirement and moving into a care home. It is designed to provide a degree of support but also to offer residents the opportunity to live independently for as long as possible.

Benefits: those who choose assisted living have more freedom and independence and it tends to suit people who are not entirely ready to retire but might require some support in daily life. Couples can remain together in assisted living and your relative will be able to take their own furniture and possessions with them. Services are often provided on site, such as cleaning and cooking, and there is a significant social element.

What to bear in mind: although assisted living tends to be the cheaper retirement option there are still costs involved. Plus, there may be some rules to follow e.g. no pets.

Choosing a residential care home for your relative

What is it? A more comprehensive retirement option including meals and accommodation. This is a full service care home but without the comprehensive nursing element.

Benefits: care homes are supportive and safe communities where your relative can be fully taken care of and surrounded by other people. A range of services is made available, as well as organised activities. Plus, care homes often offer a temporary option for carers who need a break.

What to bear in mind: space tends to be more confined and there will be rules to follow and a daily schedule. Residential care may be costly too – care homes cost an average of £28,500 a year according to PayingForCare .

3. Choosing a nursing home for your relative

What is it? The highest level of care available, including from qualified medical professionals.

Benefits: if your relative has a serious medical condition or extensive medical needs then a nursing home is a very supportive environment. Some specialise in certain conditions, such as dementia. Nursing homes provide round the clock care but are also keen to help residents remain a degree of independence wherever possible.

What to bear in mind: the average cost for full nursing care is £37,500 per year according to PayingForCare - this is the most expensive retirement option. Nursing homes necessarily have schedules set in stone so there is a strict daily routine. Sometimes the loss of space and privacy can be problematic.

There are many different types of options for relatives in old age and choosing the right one will ensure that you have peace of mind with the decision that you’ve made.

Assisted living and over-55s properties in Surrey

At Clarke Gammon Wellers, we believe that assisted living is a great option for elderly relatives who would prefer to live fairly independently, maintain a normal lifestyle, and live close by to likeminded people, with help available when required. We have a range of over-55s retirement properties available for sale. Check out our property search tool to find out more here.